A pattern I haven’t determined yet

Out last night poking around in the backyard, for the first time in days, I came across a green treefrog (Hyla cinerea) – gratifying, because I’ve been trying to convince them to hang around in the region, but curious nonetheless because I haven’t seen one here since early spring; I thought the Copes grey treefrogs had pretty much taken over. I didn’t have the camera in hand when I initially spotted it, and ended up coming back over 30 minutes later, by which time it had shifted a bit but had not scampered off someplace. First though, I had to fire off a shot of the other visitors, who had heard me coming out but not gone too far off – not quite as accommodating as a bit earlier, but still too curious to flee.

white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus watching warily in the dark
Since you didn’t bother clicking on that link (did you?) these are white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) looking back into the flash from the darkness – there were four of them, but only two looking at me when the shutter tripped. Sorry, the focus could be better, but I was doing it manually by the light of the headlamp and only the eyes existed in the viewfinder to even lock onto, so give me credit for that at least. However, these are not my main subject, just an incidental. Here’s my primary objective:

green treefrog Hyla cinerea perched on leaf
Now, that’s okay, but I’ve got a post in the works about doing more with macro work than that, so let’s go for another perspective for more drama.

green treefrog hanging almost hidden behind leaf
I liked the toes peeking around, and the idea that the frog was almost hidden from view, from a given angle, so had to go on the other side of the fence to get the view I was after.

Since I was shooting among several low-hanging branches, I also had to play around a bit with flash angles and moving leaves out of the way to get clean lighting. One of the shots that I had initially felt was a miss, however, turned out on closer inspection to be pretty dramatic in its own right, the muted light giving it a much moodier tone.

green treefrog Hyla cinerea creeping on the neighbors
Says a lot now, doesn’t it? And if you look close, you can see how this was accomplished (wholly unintentionally, I must admit): look at the eye to see the reflection of a half-blocked flash, which should be a nice circle. Hey, I’ll take it.

I wish I knew what dictated the appearance and disappearance of this species; the only thing I can say that was different was that last night was noticeably cooler than it had been for months. I’m not convinced that this makes any sense because the nearby pond, which is only a few hundred meters away and thus remains in the same climate, has hosted the greens all summer long. Perhaps they simply don’t compete well with the greys, but I am quite sure the greys are not gone for good here either, so that’s not a working hypothesis. We’ll just have to keep observing and see what happens.

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